Instrumentation

picc.2.2.ca.2.bcl.2.cbsn – 4331 – timp – perc(2): piccolo SD/xyl/hi-hat/2 sleigh bells/cyms/cabasa/vibraslap/2 bongos/2 splash.cym/BD/tam-t/guero/SD/Peking Opera gong/8 tom-toms (with a wide range of pitches)/sandblocks – strings

Availability

Score and parts for hire

Programme Notes

Commissioned by the Britten-Pears Orchestra with support from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. A friend once said that my music reminded her of Max Ernst’s painting ‘Celebes’, or ‘The Elephant Celebes’. In it a hulking creature, part machine and part elephant, stands on a vast plain, gazing at a headless female nude. In the cloudy sky two fish are swimming and trails of smoke suggest that an aircraft has just been shot down. Ernst partly derived the image from a photograph of a corn storage bin used by a tribe in Sudan which reminded him of a playground chant he remembered from school: ‘the elephant from Celebes/ has sticky yellow bottom grease’. Celebes is a large island in Indonesia next to Borneo.

© John Woolrich

Elephant from Celebes, The

Composer of the Week

BBC Radio 3 (United Kingdom)

BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Luke Dollman

Elephant from Celebes, The

Composer of the Week

BBC Radio 3 (United Kingdom)

BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Luke Dollman

Elephant from Celebes, The

BBC Recording Session

No Venue (Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom)

BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Luke Dollman

Elephant from Celebes, The

St John's Smith Square (London, United Kingdom)

Kensington Symphony Orchestra, Russell Keable

Elephant from Celebes, The

Snape Maltings Concert Hall (Snape, Suffolk, United Kingdom)

Britten-Pears Orchestra, Paul Daniel